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Would you take pizza instead of child support?

Would You Take Pizza Instead.jpgThere are many ways food can improve our lives. It satiates hunger, brings people together and helps us feel healthier, happier, relaxed and even more loving.

But can food replace money? Can pizza be used as a replacement for child support? According to an Italian judge, the answer to these questions is yes.

Recently, the judge determined that a father had fulfilled his financial obligation to his children by giving his ex-wife $335 worth of pizza every month in lieu of child support. Father's pizza business was struggling and he could not afford to pay child support in cash. Instead, he gave his ex-wife the equivalent in pizza.

Depending on your taste for pizza this may or may not sound like a good idea. However, California courts typically set and enforce orders that require regular payments in cash, not services.

This is not to say that contributing to a child's well-being must be confined to a check. As this article notes, there are in-kind support payments that can fill the gaps when financial support is unavailable. For instance, it may be easier for a parent to get clothes and shoes for a child than it is to hand over cash. Under some circumstances, providing necessities directly to a child is the only available alternative to writing a check, or worse, skipping a payment.

However, these are usually informal arrangements that are not often approved by California courts; and they are not a good idea. When support is not standardized with checks and regular payments, it can be extraordinarily difficult to make sure a parent is fulfilling his or her financial obligation. It can also be a challenge to assess the balance of the financial burden placed on each parent.

If you are interested in or have questions about alternative ways to support a child, it is generally best to consult an attorney before agreeing to anything. Failure to do so could lead to legal complications, penalties and unnecessary arguments.

What do you think? Would you accept pizza or other types of contributions in place of child support?

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